UN official confirms Israel abducted Palestinian engineer from Ukraine
March 14, 2011 3 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A UN official has confirmed that a Palestinian engineer, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Ukraine on February 19, is currently in Israeli custody. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior, Dirar Abu Sissi, 42, who was born in Jordan, but has lived in the Gaza strip for over a decade, had gone to Ukraine to apply for citizenship in the Eastern European country. His Ukrainian wife, Veronika, said Sissi disappeared in the early morning hours of February 19, shortly after boarding a train from Kharkiv to capital Kiev, in order to reunite with this brother, a Dutch national, whom he had not seen since 1997. His disappearance has puzzled Ukrainian police investigators. But on Thursday, Maksim Butkevych, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine, told the Associated Press that Sissi was kidnapped by Israeli operatives and is currently in prison in Israel. Butkevych did not openly name the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, but said that the Palestinian engineer was abducted by “Israeli security forces”, possibly with the assistance of Ukrainian intelligence officers. He also told the Associated Press that Sissi’s detention and transportation to Israel was not facilitated through legal channels, and was therefore considered an abduction, rather than an extradition. Veronika Sissi claims that her husband was targeted by the Mossad because of his knowledge of the inner workings of the Gaza Strip’s only power plant, where he works as a senior manager. Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has condemned Sissi’s abduction as “a crime that violates the international law, and a violation of the Ukrainian jurisdiction”, while the Strip’s Interior Ministry has contacted the Ukrainian government, demanding answers on the Palestinian’s disappearance. As of Sunday night, the Ukrainian government had not commented on the case.